What will an upcoming name change for Blugold Radio mean for devoted listeners of the Chippewa Valley’s popular — and only — indie music station?
It will mean that when they tune in to 99.9 FM, they can expect the same mix of local, national and international indie music, along with the same community collaborations — from podcast series to hosted concerts at unique community locations to co-sponsorships of local cultural events —which the station has become known and won awards for.
When Blugold Radio 99.9 FM officially becomes Verge 99.9 FM on July 1, the change is community focused, says Scott Morfitt, station manager.
“We’re rebranding not to reflect changes in what we offer to our listening area, but rather to better match what listeners have grown to love about our contribution to the regional music scene,” Morfitt says.
Blugold Radio will have been on the air for two years as of the date of its planned name change. While providing hands-on radio production experiences for UW-Eau Claire students will still be an important part of the station’s mission, the name change will better reflect the station’s role as a partner in arts and culture throughout its listening area, Morfitt says.
In the first two years of being on air, a large number of UW-Eau Claire student, faculty and staff collaborations have already been produced by the station. These include Sounds of Eau Claire, Wisconsin History Theater, and most recently Bend in the River. Morfitt says these types of collaborations provide valuable production experience for students that are relevant in the professional media landscape.
Verge 99.9 FM was selected as the new name following an extensive research project and design collaboration with the UW-Eau Claire departments of management and marketing and communication and journalism. The research included:
- An audience survey with more than 300 respondents.
- A survey of advisory board members, employees, students and others with about 75 respondents.
- A research findings presentation by Blugold students.
- A selection of more than 20 logo design options provided by Blugold students.
- A survey of stakeholders regarding “final” naming/branding choices.
“We’re excited about this name and the ways we could use it to cast vision for the station and because of how it speaks to connectivity, which is a major theme in our vision and strategy,” says Ed Hudgins, the station’s Community Advisory Board chair. “It also reflects being on the cutting edge culturally, which we want to engage our communities in becoming.”
While the official name change will be July 1, which is the station’s second-year anniversary, the official logo and branding will be rolled out as the station broadcasts from the Blue Ox Music Festival June 14-16. Following the July 1 name change, the station will oversee Prex Claires events on July 5 and broadcast from the Eaux Claires festival July 6-7.